What a week!
It began with the mourners for the Charleston massacre victims. Their appeal to take down the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s state capitol swelled to a national demand to remove all symbols that glorify the Confederacy and tacitly condone slavery.
The Supreme Court handed down two momentous, life-altering decisions. The first, King v. Burwell, upheld the Affordable Care Act, saving it from a precipitous collapse that would have snatched healthcare away from the millions who were previously uninsured. It also ensured a significant legacy for President Obama. The following day, on Friday, June 26, the Court affirmed in Obergefell v.Hodges that LGBTQ citizens will no longer be treated as second-class citizens, denied the right to marry anyone of their choosing. The Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights, the Court ruled, applies to all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.
The week was capped by the Charleston tragedy, as President Obama gave the eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney. After he spoke, Obama grew silent, then gave a plaintive rendition of “Amazing Grace” that will not soon be forgotten.
From mourning to celebration: June comes full circle to a fitting close. Gay Pride parades and festivals mark the Stonewall Riots that propelled gay activism and culminated in a victory unforeseen in 1969.
Democracy is not dead in the U.S., as many fear. This week it made a stunning recovery.